UK registers 351 deaths as R number remains at 1 or lower

epa08436421 Pedestrians applaud NHS (National Health Service) staff during the national applause for the NHS and careers outside Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London, Britain, 21 May 2020. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 351 to 36,393 as of yesterday, the Health Ministry said.

A total of 254,195 people have been registered so far.

The Government’s scientific expert team said that the R number, the average amount of people one person with COVID-19 can infect, ranges between 0.7 and 1 across the UK, on the same level of last week. However, they also pointed out that the number remains higher than at early lockdown stage, when it ranged between 0.5 and 0.9 due to a higher number of cases in care homes rather within the wider community.

Meanwhile, scientists advising the British government said that children have milder COVID-19 symptoms than adults and the balance of evidence suggests that children may have lower susceptibility and infectivity than adults.

The group of scientists concluded “that there was some evidence that children had milder symptoms than adults but that evidence on susceptibility and transmission was as yet unclear and recommended consideration of additional data gathering.”

“Evidence remains inconclusive on both the susceptibility and infectivity of children, but the balance of evidence suggests that both may be lower than in adults,” the scientists said in papers submitted to the British government up to end of April.

“Serological studies are starting to be available on child infection history, with some suggesting low rates of infection,” the scientists said.

The scientists said a robust testing and tracing system would be needed for schools to fully reopen.

Reuters / Sky

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